Photo via Pixabay by Annca
As we get older, our brain function can slow down a bit; memory and other cognitive functions can lag, leaving us feeling easily overwhelmed and even ashamed when something slips through the cracks. For seniors, the risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease becomes heightened over the years. It’s important to start thinking about your brain health now, as early as possible, so you can train it with puzzles, games, and exercises that will boost memory function and help form new neurological connections.
There are several ways to keep your blood cells firing on all cylinders; diet and exercise is one of the best places to start since these also help boost your mood and keep you physically healthy. However, there are workouts specifically designed to help improve your brain’s abilities, from crossword puzzles to word games that can be installed on your tablet or smartphone.
Keep reading for some great tips on how to train your brain.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
There are several apps that you can install on your tablet or smartphone that will allow you to boost your brain power anytime you want, from puzzles to word games. Some games, like Lumosity, were made specifically to help train your brain and memory. Try a different game every day to change things up.
Do an Old-Fashioned Crossword
Crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and word search puzzles are excellent brain builders that can be done just about anywhere. You can buy pocket-sized books to keep in the car or your purse, which will give you something to do the next time you’re waiting at the doctor’s office or killing time on your lunch break.
Learn Something New
Learning something new does more than broaden your horizons; it can also help you increase your learning speed, improve your performance at several different tasks, and stimulate your brain in order to prevent dementia. Consider taking a class, using an app to learn a new language, or try looking up some online tutorials on how to cook an interesting dish.
For those who are tech-savvy — or want to be — going online for your brain games can help you in other ways, including boosting your ability to process visual and audio stimulation. BrainHQ, for example, is the perfect site for building cognitive strength because it focuses on targeting specific functions in the brain and speeding them up gradually.
Play a Board Game
When you’ve got some free time, sit down with the kids or grandkids and break out a couple of board games. Scrabble, Clue, Pictionary, and children’s games — like Memory and Guess Who — are wonderful tools for building brain function and memory, and they allow you to spend quality time with your loved ones at the same time.
Change the Way You Think
Although it can be difficult, changing the way you think about and remember things can help boost your brain’s ability to make new connections. Instead of writing down your grocery list, visualize your path through the grocery store as you pick up each item. When you physically go into the store, you’ll remember the visualization and be able to grab the things you need. Instead of using a calculator to figure out a tip at a restaurant, do the math in your head. The more you can choose an alternate path, the better.
Preserving memory and brain function with games and puzzles is just one method, and not every path is right for every individual. Talk to your doctor about the best way to get started, especially if you are a senior or if your family has a history of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.